Ein Bild /An Image
West Germany, 1983, 16mm
Four days spent in a studio working on a centerfold photo for Playboy magazine provided the subject matter for my film. The magazine itself deals with culture, cars, a certain lifestyle. Maybe all those trappings are only there to cover up the naked woman. […] The naked woman in the middle is a sun around which a system revolves: of culture, of business, of living! […] One can well imagine that the people creating such a picture, the gravity of which is supposed to hold all that, perform their task with as much care, seriousness, and responsibility as if they were splitting uranium. This film, An Image, is part of a series I’ve been working on since 1979. The television station that commissioned it assumes in these cases that I’m making a film that is critical of its subject matter, and the owner or manager of the thing that’s being filmed assumes that my film is an advertisement for them. I try to do neither. Nor do I want to do something in between, but beyond both.
Harun Farocki, Zelluloid, no. 27, Fall 1988
*Screening along with Still Life and Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet at Work on Franz Kafka’s Amerika